Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Carolina bluefin tunas are biting, but it's tough sledding elsewhere

Although today is the first day of spring, for many Americans it continues to feel like winter. However, down from the south-eastern parts of the country, mainly the Outer Banks of North Carolina, comes good news. The president of the Peninsula Saltwater Sport Fisherman's Association, Dr. Ken Neill, reports, “Anglers took advantage of some fishable weather this past weekend. Boats sailing out of the Outer Banks experienced some terrific bluefin tuna action with most boats releasing multiple fish while managing to catch their one daily [keeper] under 73”.

“These kept fish are in the 200-pound class. Currently, recreational vessels are allowed to keep one giant bluefin tuna for the year. This has resulted in some impressive tunas to over 600 pounds being brought in. If you want to do battle with some giant fish, get out there soon as they will not hang around for too long and regulations could change at any time,” says the fishing phenom, Dr. Neill.

He continues with providing fishing chances in the Virginia Beach and lower Chesapeake Bay portions. “Out of Virginia, tautogs are the main target,” he says. “Boats fishing ocean structures had good catches while those trying inside the Bay did not. The Bay waters need to warm up a bit before that bite takes off. It should be in full swing by April. Flounder are another fish on anglers' radar. Flatfish enthusiasts will start giving them a try soon but it will probably be a couple more weeks before any have much success. Speckled trout and some puppy drum continue to provide action in the Elizabeth River. Offshore bottom fishing will become a better prospect as the spiny dogfish begin to thin out over the next few weeks.”

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